Basses/Guitar and The Enviroment

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by MarkMgibson, Jan 28, 2013.


  1. MarkMgibson

    MarkMgibson

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    I've read a lot articles recently about how much wood is used to make guitars, especially electric guitars ad basses. Gibson has been fined a number of times for illegally exporting wood from Madagascar, for example (and they're not the only company). The manufacturers of guitars (and basses) are said to be the biggest users of exotic wood from the Amazon and other rainforests around the world.

    I know there are some companies who have pledged to use recycled wood to make their guitars/basses, and I think we, as musicians, should think about this when buying new instruments.

    I'm not having a go at anyone (or any company), I just think people should be aware of it.

    Regards,
    Mark
     
  2. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member

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    In my view, more wood gets turned into sawdust than into musical instruments. AFAIK the issue with Gibson was that they were importing raw lumber instead of finished goods, not that they were involved in poaching. Countries that have those resources want them used as a source of employment to benefit their own economies, rather than simply cut down and shipped away.
     
  3. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

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    I intend to have a bass built using wood that is native to my local. I'm thinking ash, maple, and walnut.
     
  4. MarkMgibson

    MarkMgibson

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    That's true, but I think they meant the more exotic woods (old growth stuff). Anyway, I didn't mean to make a big issue out of it, but a lot of companies are starting to use recycled wood, and I think that should be encouraged.

    There's probably millions of guitars sitting around gathering dust - the hardware might be crap, but the wood is probably pretty good (especially if they're older instruments). It seems a waste not to reuse that wood. Wood gets better with age, after all.

    Regards,
    Mark
     
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  6. Buslady7803

    Buslady7803

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    Go to warwickbass.com to see what they do, they're pretty green
     
  7. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

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  8. MarkMgibson

    MarkMgibson

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    Is that some sort of secret code? Please enlighten us?
     
  9. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

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    Seems to me you are already "Enlightened". ;)
     
  10. MarkMgibson

    MarkMgibson

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    Yeah, there's a few companies now starting to offer money for old instruments. Mahogany, Ebony, Rosewood - such wood is becoming rarer every year, so it seems silly not to recycle as much as possible. As I said, it's just something to keep in mind.
     
  11. MarkMgibson

    MarkMgibson

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    I've been called plenty of things, but never "enlightened". :)
     
  12. hbarcat

    hbarcat Supporting Member

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    This company recovers sunken logs lost from the industry at the bottom of Lake Superior a century ago.

    I used to live a few blocks from their warehouse and know a couple of people who work there. Fantastic company, IMO.

    Check out some of the stunning guitars in the photo gallery.

    http://timelesstimber.com
     
  13. TolerancEJ

    TolerancEJ

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    Wow, they look very cool. Here are some of the website's pics of guitars, violins, & a drum set. I don't see a bass yet. Someone needs to make that happen.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  14. MarkMgibson

    MarkMgibson

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    I remember seeing a documentary about them years ago - very good idea. I remember them saying there were probably hundreds of thousands of logs of high quality timber sitting at the bottom of rivers. That must be true, because I reckon I saw that program well over 15 years ago. Obviously they're still going strong, and there's some damn nice looking wood there.
     
  15. warnergt

    warnergt

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    Be careful what you wish for because banning the use of exotic
    woods can actually have the opposite of the intended effect.

    In the Mahogany forest of South America, outrage over the
    lumber trade’s responsibility for deforestation caused the levy
    of a logging ban. Sawmills shut down, jobs were lost, and a
    valuable timber resource suddenly lost all value. Now
    landowners are forced to find a way to derive value from their
    land. Instead of logging it for profit, they choose to burn it to
    the ground to make room from soybean crops or fields for
    cattle grazing.

    People need to make a living.
     
  16. Ziltoid

    Ziltoid Supporting Member

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    Enviroment? Qué? :bag:
     
  17. slobake

    slobake Supporting Member

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  18. Scott in Dallas

    Scott in Dallas

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    Bob Taylor related a story about ebony loggers in Africa not getting paid for ebony that wasn't black all the way through, so if they cut down a tree, and it had imperfections, they just left it to rot in the forest because there was no point in dragging it out. Taylor is one of the guitar companies that's going to the forests all over the world and investigating these practices to prevent wood from being wasted. There's a video on Taylor's Youtube page about it.

    I considered building a bass out of mesquite because it's a plentiful Texas wood. A buddy just had a tree processed and I'll end up with some wood out of it, but without a connection, it's too expensive to use.
     
  19. elgecko

    elgecko

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    Some builders are using sustainably harvested woods.
     
  20. MarkMgibson

    MarkMgibson

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    I'm not advocating banning anything, and your point is well made. I would like to see companies use recycled materials as much as possible - that's just common sense.

    I didn't mean to start any sort of crusade, just open up a discussion.
     
  21. Mushroo

    Mushroo

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    I agree. It's not like wood grows on trees.
     

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